This essay considers the 1916 Rising in Ireland as the political culmination of a longer social and cultural revolution that should be set within wider international, imperial, and military contexts. The year 1916 as a political moment stalled rather than furthered the social revolution, as its legacy was undermined by a counterrevolution. The Rising should not be viewed through an exclusively Irish lens: it involved several international actors—the British Empire, the protagonists of World War I, the women’s movement, the Catholic Church, and socialism. Ignited by international as well as national forces, its outcome must also be assessed in terms of the arid postwar settlement that contributed to interwar fascism and authoritarianism. This essay introduces a wider spatial horizon and a longer time frame for considering the Rising: it is an exercise in calibrating the relationship between la longue durée and les eventments.
Kevin Whelan; 1916 in Ireland: Revolution and Counterrevolution in International Context. boundary 2 1 February 2018; 45 (1): 91–110. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-4295503
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